Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Golden Youth Best Indicator of Where Elites Hope to Take Russia, Khaldey Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 2 – Members of the top elite in Russia can be counted on to say whatever the Kremlin wants them to, but their real goals as far as policy for the country, commentator Aleksandr Khaldey says, are shown by the way they treat their children, the so-called “golden youth,” and the career paths they seek to open for them.

            That was true in Soviet times and it is even more true now, given the variety of opportunities those near the top of the political pyramid have; and the attitudes and careers of groups in the golden youth now underscore the depth of the divide between those of their parents who have adopted a pro-Russian or a pro-Western position, he says (

            Parents who educate their children abroad and encourage them to pursue careers that will taken them to other countries on a regular basis clearly want one thing; those who educate their children in Russia and push them into careers in the government or government-related corporations want something else.

            And the history of Russia over the last 50 years shows that those choices are a far better guide to what the parents in power want for the country. A few years ago, it seemed that the elite was choosing the Western position; now the elite is divided but with far more interested in adopting an anti-Western one.

            Khaldey urges that those tracking politics both in government institutions and in the country’s systemic parties would do far better to focus on what those at the top of these structures are doing with respect to their children than what they are saying in public. The former is a better guide.

            The commentator almost certainly is right at least in part; but what makes his words a matter of concern is that they suggest he and others want to purge those with too many ties abroad for themselves and their children and replace them with others in the elite who don’t have such links, something that will isolate Russia more than any announcement from on high.


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